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Slow-Cooker Brown Sugar Apple Chicken


This delicious and easy Slow-Cooker Brown Sugar Apple Chicken gives you fall-off-the-bone tender chicken bathed with a savory-sweet sauce. 


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 5 or 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 tablespoons paprika
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place chicken thighs, skin side down, into the skillet. Without moving them or flipping them over, cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the skin has turned a deep golden brown color.

2. While the chicken cooks, place the brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil into the bottom of the slow-cooker. When chicken is done browning, place into the slow-cooker, skin side up. Set to low and cook for 8 hours.

3. Carefully remove the chicken to an oven-safe dish, keeping the pieces skin-side up in a single layer. Set your oven to broil. Remove as much fat as you can off the surface of the broth. Pour broth into a saucepan and add the apple cider. Boil on high until the liquid has reduced by about half. While the sauce reduces, place chicken thighs under the broiler until the skin is crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Pour reduced sauce into the chicken dish and serve.


This recipe can be easily converted to a holiday-friendly Slow-Cooker Brown Sugar Cranberry Chicken recipe by substituting cranberry sauce + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar instead of apple juice in step 3 and ensuring you substitute soy sauce instead of sesame oil in step 2.